While the COVID-19 pandemic created an unforeseen demand for call center services, organizations also faced an increase in agent unemployment - preventing customers from getting help at a time they most need it. Prior to the pandemic, according to the Five9 2020 Customer Service Index Report, more than 72 percent of business decision makers (BDMs) considered trust to be the most important factor that influences purchase decisions. Surprisingly, price was the next important factor at 68 percent. Customer trust was rated very important in industries that have been highly impacted by the pandemic. For example, 73 percent of BDMs in the financial services industry and 71 percent of BDMs in the healthcare industry rated customer trust as very important. Therefore, amid uncertainty, customer trust is a key component for your business recovery plan in the post-pandemic world. As we look forward to the reopening of the economy this summer, how do we reengage customers and win back their trust? Below are three key tips:
Listen to your customers: A customer may have just lost their job and emotions are high. An agent who listens to a customer with empathy and compassion will go a long way to earning back their trust. According to the recent Five9 webinar poll, 80 percent of attendees stated that customer support and empathy were business priorities during the pandemic.
Reprioritize your agent KPIs: It’s also important to focus on the contact center metrics that will encourage agents to listen to your customers. For example, average handle time (AHT) would discourage agents to take the time necessary to empathize with customers. Instead, it is important to prioritize metrics such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) and customer lifetime value as we navigate the new business environment.
Provide the right channels: Lastly, provide your contact center agents with an omnichannel solution that will help agents solve less-urgent problems over email or chat. This gives them back the time they need to help an anxious customer over the phone. Although voice is still consumer’s #1 preferred communication channel, providing an omnichannel solution provides the convenience and personalization that consumers are looking for. Afterall, consumers will continue to have high expectations after the pandemic.
To learn more about steps you can take to thrive in the new business environment, watch our on-demand webinar with Contact Center Analyst, Blair Pleasant and Michael Rose, podcast host of That’s Genius!, to discover contact center priorities that will help your organization hit the ground running when it’s time to get back to business.
Nicole Friedrich is a Marketing Specialist on the Demand Generation & Campaigns team at Five9. Prior to joining Five9, Nicole worked for various private companies and government agencies. Nicole graduated from Chapman University with a Master's in International Business Administration in 2017.
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